post

July 2015 Desktop Background & Letter from the Editor

07012015_Desktop_BMA_1280x800

Life is like everything else—we get out of it what we put into it.  You can wait for an adventure to come knocking at your door, or you can go out and make one happen.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?  It doesn’t have to be base jumping or highlining, it can be as simple as taking a dance lesson, attending a music festival, joining a hiking group or embarking on a road trip.  Children have an innate sense of adventure, so pack a picnic and invite your kids and grandkids, or borrow someone else’s, and go exploring.   Now is the new never.

Summer is a great time for making new memories and revisiting old ones.  Are there elements you could add to your décor that evoke happy recollections, like wildflowers in mason jars, bowls of seashells and sea glass, wind chimes and Japanese lanterns?  Are there summertime drinks that remind you of home, like sweet tea or sangria or root beer floats?  Maybe you could you return to a favorite family vacation spot or theme park.  The Fourth of July is a perfect time to revive some childhood traditions.

On July 4th we commemorate the day in 1776 when our Declaration of Independence was signed and our freedom declared—a freedom that we continue to cherish and protect.  Parades, picnics, BBQ’s, sparklers and fireworks are all part of the fun.  And while you’re celebrating our nation’s birthday, remember all your family and friends who are celebrating theirs this summer, by sending them Blue Mountain Birthday eCards. 

We also have a brand new, beautiful desktop background for your computer phone, and even your Facebook cover image.

July Background:
07012015_Desktop_BMA_1280x800
2560 x 1440 / 1680 x 1050 / 1440 x 900 / 1280 x 800Facebook Cover Photo / Phone
For help on how to install, click here.

Go 4th and have fun!

Caroline Martlew, Senior Editor
Caroline

 

 

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

Father’s Day Coloring Pages

06182015_coloring_pages_FB_BMA

Let Dad brag about the little artist in his life! Father’s Day coloring pages are the perfect keepsake for Dad or Grandpa, that lets kids exercise their creativity and give him something from the heart. Simply print out a page to color and personalize…that’s it!

Our Father’s Day printables make a sweet, thoughtful gift idea for kids who want to honor Dad or Grandpa on his special day. After coloring in images designed to make Dad smile, proud papas can display their children’s art on the refrigerator, in the garage, or on their desk at work.

With a little help from parents, siblings, and (of course) Blue Mountain, each Father’s Day coloring pages can be personalized with your own words to Dad. Show and tell him how much he means to you this Father’s Day with a colorful corner of your heart printed out to share with the #1 Dad in your life.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

Mothers Day Kids Coloring Pages

05062015_Mother_Coloring_BLG_BMA

We’re so happy to share a little something new with you for this Mother’s Day! Whether you’re looking for something creative to do with your kids or grand kids, or you’re just a kid-at-heart, you’ll love these new Mothers Day Kids Coloring Pages!

Children can sit down with a parent, grandparent, or sibling to select coloring pages to print and present to Mom or Grandma on her special day. Blue Mountain offers a variety of Mother’s Day coloring pages online. Color a brilliant bunch of Mother’s Day flowers for Mom, or let her know she’s #1 – not just on Mother’s Day, but every day.

Printable Mother’s Day Coloring sheets give kids the freedom to color outside the lines, and add their own special poem or words to Mom or Grandma, too. Include a thoughtful message from the heart and you’ll be good to go!

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

Letter from the Editor May 2015

05012015_Spring_Season_BLG_BMA

New month, new day, new dreams–it does seem like anything is possible in May.  In a whirlwind of spring cleaning, we’ve put away our winter things—sweaters, boots and ice scrapers and we’ve begun mowing, mulching and weeding.  It won’t be long before we’re barefoot in the grass again.  We’re shaking out our welcome mats and looking forward to entertaining our family and friends on the warm and sunny days ahead.

May is filled with reasons to celebrate!  Bookending the month, we have Nurses week at the beginning (where would we be without them?)  and Memorial Day on the 25th, when we honor and remember those who have served our country.

On May 10th, we celebrate all the great moms in our lives on Mother’s Day.  Here at Blue Mountain, we’ve been creating some wonderful new cards especially for her.  Inspired by beautiful Boston Public Garden, we imagined a scene from the turn of the century with the swan boats drifting on the lagoon to the music of a string quartet along the bank, playing Minuet in G.  Our favorite collage artist has created a stunning new design, incorporating warm and loving wishes for Mom. And you’ll be happy to hear, we’ve designed a new Mother’s Day card, featuring Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy.”  If you’re a Talking Card fan, you’ll enjoy our new glam dog at the spa, “Paws and Relax.”

Happy May and Happy Mother’s Day!
Caroline Martlew, Senior Editor

Caroline

 

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

What to Write in a Thank You Note

04122013

“THANK YOU.”  Most everyone says this daily and it feels perfectly natural to say it.
But for special situations, when we want to put our gratitude in print, it’s different and, sometimes, even difficult. So once you’ve got a great card or some nice stationery, what comes next in thanking someone for a gift, an interview, a thoughtful gesture? Perhaps
the tips below can help you write a thank you note that’s not only sincere, but appropriate as well.

Handwritten Thank You Note

First, know that a handwritten thank you note is always appreciated. With email being such a common form of communication, personal notes are more valued than ever. And taking the time to acknowledge someone’s kindness or time will mean the world to them. Simply the fact that you’re writing a note sets you up for success.

Be Timely

Next, try to be timely. A thank you note is best sent within a week. For a large event, like
a shower or wedding, up to three months is acceptable, but “sooner” is preferred than “later.”  If time gets away from you, just offer a humble apology, but don’t dwell on your delay. The note shouldn’t sound like it was a burden to write.

For more formal or business thank yous, such as after an interview, a thank you email can be sent immediately if there is a sense of urgency (say in placing an order or filling a position,) but it should still be followed up with a thank you note or letter sent shortly after the event–within 2 to 3 days. (See links below for more information.)

A few ideas for business thank yous…

  • I’m so happy you recommended our company to one of your friends…many thanks for your thoughtfulness. 
  • Or: We were so happy with your____________, we just wanted you to know we’ll recommend you to all our friends.
  • Thank you for the time you spent showing me…
  • Thank you for showing us what “above and beyond” really means…
  • I know your time is valuable, so I just wanted to thank you for making room in your schedule for me.

Be Yourself and Be Specific

Now, just be yourself…but be specific. Address the recipient in the way that’s comfortable for both of you, and then focus on your reason for writing. There’s no need for a long lead-in as you might do in a letter. Let the recipient know right away what you’re thanking them for, and describe it thoughtfully. Saying the gift is incredibly useful, the dinner was delicious, or their act of kindness was enormously helpful are personal touches that mean
a lot.

Add Some Details

Don’t hesitate to add more details to genuinely express your gratitude. For example, if you’ll think of the gift giver whenever you use their present, tell them so. If you felt the dinner guests were a great group of people, let the host know it. If thinking about what someone did still makes you smile, that’s something they’d like to know. Elaborating on the reasons for your gratitude helps people see themselves positively from your point of view—and doubles the joy of the gesture.

End With a Compliment

Finally, finish the note with a sincere compliment that will leave a lasting effect. Whether they’re a one-of-a-kind wonderful friend, an amazing cook, a prospective employer, or you appreciate the time they took out of their busy schedule, now is the time to tell them you noticed—and it will make them feel extra special.

Remember, the thank you note itself, although expected, can often be a pleasant surprise. And everyone wants to feel appreciated. So, the few minutes you take to tell someone you’re thankful could brighten their whole day…and yours!

A few ideas for social thank yous…

  • You always know the perfect thing to (do, say, give, etc.)
  • Your kindess during a difficult time was sincerely appreciated.
  • I feel doubly blessed…first for what you did, but mostly, for what
    you mean to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

Simply Thankful: Introducing our new page

Just one small gesture of appreciation can lead to a more positive and fulfilling life. Simply thankful is the key, and that is one of the reasons we created our brand new page, Simply Grateful: Blue Mountain’s Guide to Positive Living.  We’re so excited to share this page with you, and hopefully inspire some wonderful new ways to help you show gratitude.

04222015_Gratitude_printable_BLG_BMA Click here to print and frame this quote.

You’ll find blogs on how to help you find the perfect words to write inside a thank you card, articles teaching children and grandchildren how to show appreciation, and inspiration from heartwarming notes personally penned by famous persons of yesterday and today.

Also, we’ve all heard of a bucket list, but what about a ThankList? Share a personalized thank you with the people who helped shape you, with some help from our friends at American Greetings.

Plus, put a little extra gratitude in your day by printing and framing this beautiful quote! Keep it for yourself, or give it to someone who you’re grateful to have in your life.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

April 2015 Letter from the Editor

04012015_gratitude_memory_BLG_BMA

April is here!  It’s bird-chirping weather at last! It’s an easy time to be grateful with so much spring popping up everywhere we look—birds nesting, bees buzzing, flowers blooming and warmer breezes blowing our way. And just as April Showers bring May flowers, so do life’s challenges lead us to brighter days, reminding us to be grateful for all we have now and for unknown blessings on their way. True appreciation is felt from the depths of our hearts. Our minds may check off a list of things we ought to be thankful for, but our hearts record the deep feelings of gratitude for the kindness and generosity we experience.

Easter is April 5th–a wonderful time to show appreciation to your friends and family by sending a card to let them know you’re thinking of them. We’ve designed some beautiful new cards to celebrate this special time. We have an interactive card that features a bunny on an Easter egg hunt in a charming garden. As a special surprise, we’ve included the true story behind Easter eggs. In another card, we hear the beautiful hymn, “Jesus Christ is Risen Today,” as a butterfly emerges from a cocoon, a symbol of rebirth and renewal. We watch as he flutters about a field of wildflowers along the path to a country church. If you’d like to send a smile, our pug in bunny ears, “Pugs Bunny,” will deliver your message for you.  For those of you who like to print your cards at home, we have two new Easter cards and a Passover card.

If you’d like to read about more ways to show gratitude, please visit our new site:
Simply Thankful: Blue Mountain’s Guide to Positive Living

Here at Blue Mountain, we are very grateful for our friends like you.

Thank you!
Caroline
Caroline Martlew, Senior Editor

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

What to Write in an Anniversary Card

ID# - 5878549  13-02763-00-00.psd

By definition, an anniversary marks a date that’s remembered because of a significant event. In this case, we’re highlighting a wedding anniversary, either your own or that of someone you care about.

To help celebrate this extra special occasion, you probably would want to send an anniversary card. But you really want it to speak straight from the heart—and every word needs to be both meaningful and sincere.

After you’ve finally settled on the perfect card, you then most probably will want to add your own personal note. And this is where the challenge lies. Where to begin? How to phrase your thoughts and wishes?  What exactly to include?

Blue Mountain is here to help!

First of all, it’s best to keep anything you write short and sweet.  (Think of one warm thought or feeling, one compliment about the other person, or one statement of gratitude.) It’s also important to express your feelings in your own genuine style (e.g., cute, simple, direct, romantic, corny, funny, etc.). Finally, be sure to keep the recipient clearly in mind, whether it’s a spouse, a friend, or a relative— and speak directly to them as you normally would in person.

For some great examples of what to write in an anniversary card, we’d like to share several ways to address that very special someone in your life:

For Your Own Spouse

  • To my one and only.
  • You are my endless love!
  • My heart is yours forever.
  • Thank you for another wonderful year.
  • I offer my heart to you again. And again. And again.
  • After all this time, you’re still absolutely, undeniably incredible to me.
  • My love is real because of you.
  • You make my life complete.
  • I love you not only for who you are, but for who I am when I’m with you.
  • To another year full of joy, love, and bliss.
  • Our union tells me God has blessed me with a tremendous gift.
  • I’m honored to grow old with you and to share memories of the blessed life we have together.
  • Happy anniversary to my best friend, the love of my life, and all the other titles you deserve.
  • Every year with you is sweeter than the last.
  • The longer we’re married, the more I realize I got the better end of the deal.
  • When I look into your eyes, I see a reflection of the love we’ve share and the many more happy years to come.
  • How sweet it is to be loved by you.
  • Every year that passes, I fall more and more in love with you.
  • One year down. Many, many more wonderful ones to go!
  • To the one person in this world who makes me the happiest!

For Someone Else

  • Congratulations on so many wonderful years together!
  • A wish that all your days together continue to be touched with lasting love.
  • May the cherished memories of the years you’ve shared make this anniversary a wonderful celebration indeed.
  • Wishing you a wonderful anniversary and a beautiful future with your one true love.
  • Congratulations on your anniversary and best wishes for many more wonderful years to come.
  • May you continue to be as blessed by your life together as those around you are blessed by your example of unconditional love.
  • True love stories never end.
  • To the couple who best exemplifies happily ever after.
  • May every year you share find you still more and more in love with each other.
  • Wishing you a very joyful anniversary and many more to come.
  • Happy anniversary to one of the coolest couples around!
  • Wishing you the special moments this golden day can bring, and through the years ahead of you, the best of everything!
  • May God bless you on this momentous occasion.
  • With love and best wishes for your anniversary.
  • Together may you share the things a perfect anniversary brings!
  • Wishing you all the happiness any couple could have.
  • May this be a day of tender moments, warm memories, and wonderful wishes for the future.
  • Celebrate the love that promises to bring so many more years of pure joy.
  • May your love continue to inspire others by shining brightly for years to come. Congratulations.
  • Wishing you much happiness as you continue to celebrate all the joys your marriage has brought.
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

What to Write in a Thank You Card

 

We recently gave some advice on how to write a Thank You Note, and now we’re here with suggestions on what to write inside a Thank You card or eCard. You might be saying, “What’s the difference?” Although not vastly different, there are some points to take into consideration. You may want to write a bit more inside a Thank You card because there’s simply more room. Perhaps you’d like to be a bit more serious in a card… Read on for more tips and advice when writing a Thank You card.

Reflect on the person and situation you want to address. Is this someone you feel especially close to? Is the thank you for a gift or is this about a person’s generosity or thoughtfulness? If it’s the latter, remind them of how often you notice their generous spirit or willingness to do kind things.

Think about what the thank you is for. If for a gift, is it clear to you that they took time to choose it? Was their gift a reminder that you’re special to them? Is this for something nice they did for you or someone you care about? When you start answering some of these questions, it will help you develop some ideas of what to say.

Address them in a warm and personal way, thanking them for the specific gift or special thing they did. If they’re someone close to you, you can mention that you’re thankful for the gift, etc., but more than that, you’re thankful for their friendship, which you cherish all year through.

Let them know what the gift means to you. Did you eat the cookies they gave you right away or share them with your family? Did you wear the new scarf to work and everyone commented on it? Did their hospitality allow you to truly relax and enjoy yourself? Let them know that this gift has meaning for you.

You can then finish your note with a comment on how their gift or thoughtfulness makes you smile each time you think about it or let them know it added special meaning to your day.

The most important thing to remember is to be sincere…and to be yourself. Whether you go the traditional route or if funny is your thing, your appreciation will show through no matter which words you choose. So relax, and remember, too, that your note of thanks will start the year off right for both of you!

Finally, here are a few more idea starters that work well for many occasions:

  • Simply grateful for special people like you.
  • Your help was such a blessing.
  • Thankful, appreciative, grateful…that’s me because of you.
  • Thanks for all your special (caring) ways.
  • So lucky, so happy, so grateful for you.
  • Thank you for taking the time to be so thoughtful.
  • Could you have been any nicer? Don’t see how!
  • Thanks for thinking of me in such a special way.
  • Thanks…it was wonderful…just like you!
  • You’re a real sunshine-bringer!
  • You totally “out-niced” yourself!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

post

Recipes for the Big Game – Plus Free Printable!

As the big game of the football season approaches, it’s time to start planning a party. But not just any party. A party that takes place primarily in front of a TV.  Yikes! What’s a hostess to do?

The first thing to remember about hosting a game-day party is to make sure there’s plenty of seating for everyone. Decorations are optional. Beverages are important. But food, well that’s what this post is all about.

01282015_Big_Game_Roundup_BLG_BMA

1 Individual 7-Layer Dip Cups via Spend With Pennies
2 Crab Cake Sliders via Jessica Burns
3 BBQ Crockpot Meatballs via Sweet C’s Designs
4 Stuffed Mushrooms via Beans
5 Crock Pot Asian BBQ Chicken Wings via Stephanie Cooks
6 Stout Cupcakes via All Parenting

If truth be told, half the fun of watching “the big game” is the feast. You can do it up in grand fashion (think catered affair) or in a low-key way (think chips and dips). But what we wanted to share with you today are ways to make your spread colorful, interesting, and delicious, too!

The secret tip for hosting the perfect big-game party is to make all your food available in individual, easy-to-pick-up portions. No cutting. No scooping. No slicing. No dicing. To help make your menu planning easier, our editors have assembled some of their favorite recipes to share with you today. Included is a nice variety of choices, from fairly traditional to crockpot/slow cooker friendly and even vegetarian. As for the fun cupcake dessert, add your own cute flag by clicking here for a free printable. Then just cut out each entire two-sided flag, fold on the dotted line, wrap around a toothpick, and either glue or tape together.

Choose which dishes work best for your crowd—and may your favorite team win!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail